I’m not sure why, but I’ve found myself visiting alternative video sharing site Vimeo quite a bit recently. Maybe it’s because of my love for good lip-syncs, or extreme well-played pranks, or the closeness in the Vimeo community that seems to come across. While it is in no way a ‘launched yesterday’ site, it is one that seems to be gaining a bit of popularity and I thought I’d cover.
The first thing you’ll notice about Vimeo is that while it may seem like a YouTube clone, it doesn’t resemble one. It’s like a well-designed, friendlier and more seamless version of it. The idea behind Vimeo, as opposed to YouTube, is different all together as well. At Vimeo, users post videos they made with people they either met through or are existing members of, the site. That right there brings the community close together in one way, and alienates in another (for example, for people like me who live outside the US — I can pretty much guarantee you there’s no Vimeo user I’ll be able to ‘meet’ within 300kms of me – the only way will be to get my friends to signup).
Users are given 250mb of video storage per week, and unlike YouTube’s rating system, each video can be ‘liked,’ which is the ‘digg’ of Vimeo — and commented upon, which also resembles a digg-like comments format. What I also like about Vimeo is that there’s a sensible taxonomy structure they’ve built into it, and each video has a ‘Cast’ [since the whole point is to make videos with other members].
While it may not seem so, I don’t think it’s a 0-sum game between Vimeo and YouTube. If you want to submit that 6-second recording of the baseball game you made last night, you’d use YouTube, while on the other hand if you and your friends got together and made a crazy ‘do not try this at home’ video, get all your friends to signup as well and use Vimeo (the same is true for your cat videos). The community comes across as very different in Vimeo, and unlike YouTube, it’s the true hub of user-generated content and cat videos (difference being, they’re your friends’ cats.)